For the past nine months or so, I have been the proud owner of an iPod. I have a few gripes about it, but by and large it’s been a good purchase. I spend more time using it to listen to books (hours long) than music (minutes long), so the controls that have to do with keeping my place in and moving me through great long recordings are very important to me. It’s truly maddening when your iPod forgets what “page” you were on and you have to spend five minutes zooming back and forth trying to remember where you were.
Be that as it may, iTunes has this feature called Smart Playlists that I somehow missed until last night. Smart Playlists are powerful filters that let you make playlists with rules rather than by handpicking songs one-by-one. For instance, you can say “play all the country music I have listened to exactly once in the last month” (which for me would be a very short playlist). This is a nice feature, but even more interesting is the fact that there is a whole website (Smart Playlists.com) dedicated to helping people share these playlists with one another. An entire website devoted to a feature that I didn’t even know existed. That’s impressive. I’d like to say someday that I designed a feature that inspired a website.